Anchorage Man Sentenced for Cyberstalking Former Girlfriend
Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced that an Anchorage man was sentenced in federal court yesterday for cyberstalking his former girlfriend while on release after being charged with physically assaulting the same victim.
Jeffery Ray Ward, 41, of Anchorage, was sentenced yesterday by Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess, to serve 40 months in prison, followed by a three-year term of supervised release. Ward previously pleaded guilty on Sept. 27, 2017, to one count of cyberstalking in violation of a domestic violence protective order. Ward had been previously convicted by the Municipality of Anchorage of the domestic violence offense involving the same victim.
According to court documents, on April 16, 2017, APD received a 911 call from the victim reporting that Ward, her ex-boyfriend, had violated his conditions of release in the pending Municipal domestic violence case, where the court had ordered that Ward have no contact with the victim. While that case was pending, Ward threatened to put the victim’s “dirt on blast” before hacking her social media accounts and posting nude, sexually explicit pictures of the victim for hundreds of her friends and family to see.
Furthermore, the victim received an automated email from the social media site stating that the email address associated with her account had been changed from her own to one belonging to Ward, making it impossible for the victim to regain control and change the password back. The investigation further revealed that Ward had also impersonated the victim via social media direct messaging to engage in sexually explicit communications with the victim’s prior boyfriend.
Ward has a history of domestic violence offenses in the State of Alaska and elsewhere. At sentencing in this matter, Judge Burgess advised Ward that “to call this a serious crime is an understatement,” and stated that he was “concerned about protecting other women” in the community from Ward.
“Our highest priority is prevention of violent crime,” said U.S. Attorney Schroder. “While a significant amount of our efforts go toward drug trafficking related and firearms based violent crime, domestic violence is an insidious threat to Alaskan families. Where appropriate, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will bring charges to hold domestic abusers accountable.”
“APD Cyber Detectives work diligently to ensure the safety of all Anchorage residents online,” said APD Cyber Crimes Lieutenant Josh Nolder. “We are pleased to partner with the US Attorney’s office to prosecute Mr. Ward.”
Patrol Officers and Detectives with the Cyber Crimes Unit of the Anchorage Police Department (“APD”) conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of this case. This case was developed through cooperation with the Municipality of Anchorage Prosecutor’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Alexander prosecuted the case.